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Delaware County's Dept. of Emergency Services and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Urge Drivers to Prepare for Winter

Delaware County's Dept. of Emergency Services and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Urge Drivers to Prepare for Winter

Posted on November 28, 2022

While winter doesn’t officially begin until December 21, snow, sleet, and high winds will soon bring dangerous wintery driving conditions to Delaware County. 

Delaware County’s Department of Emergency Services (DES) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) are asking drivers to take precautionary steps now, before storms and freezing cold make our Delaware County roads treacherous.

Whether you are embarking on holiday travel, running errands around town, or doing your daily commute, please be sure to keep winter weather considerations in mind — and be cautious!

That means leaving earlier when driving conditions are expected to be poor, driving slower, using your headlights, keeping greater distance between you and the car in front of you, wearing your seatbelt (always!), and thoroughly removing ALL snow and ice from your vehicle.

Prepare Your Winter Car Kit

Another great way to prepare for winter driving is to create a Winter Car Kit that you can keep in your trunk, inclusive of essential items for winter travel.

Here are 12 potentially life-saving items all drivers should keep in the car during the winter months:

  1. Cat litter, sand, or rock salt. The cat litter/sand will help provide traction for a stuck vehicle and the rock salt will assist in melting the snow. Approximately two measures of cat litter or sand to every one measure of rock salt should suffice.
  2. Blanket. Maintaining body heat is critical.
  3. De-Icing fluid. In less extreme situations, de-icing fluids can be very useful to remove ice from your windshield.
  4. Small folding shovel and ice scraper. You will need to dig out or scrape off this winter.
  5. Multi-tool. Keeping this device in your glove compartment can make the difference between fixing your car yourself and waiting for assistance. A good multi-tool can function as a screwdriver, pliers and wrench.
  6. Hand warmers. This is a safer option than using candles to stay warm. Some hand warmer models can last up to 10 hours and are air-activated.
  7. Sleeping bag. Especially when traveling long distances, it’s best to have one if stranded for hours or overnight.
  8. Flashlight (hand-cranked or battery-operated). The winter months are typically darker due to cloud coverage and fewer hours of daylight. A flashlight will be useful if stranded or lost.
  9. Jumper cables. If you’ve lost power after dealing with issues like ice or a winter storm, it’s good to know that you just need a little bit of borrowed power from another car to get moving again. 
  10. Cell phone charger. As long as you have power to your phone, you can call for help in the event of a disaster (such as a totaled car) or any set of disastrous weather conditions. 
  11. Nonperishable snacks & bottled water. Emergency food should be easy to consume and have a distant expiration date. Energy bars, dried fruits, nuts and even chocolate are good options. Be sure when packing water in your winter car emergency kit to not fill the water containers up all the way, as water expands when frozen, which may cause your containers to burst.
  12. First Aid Kit. Basic medical supplies like bandages, gauze, anti-inflammatory painkillers and scissors can tide you over until medical assistance arrives.

Let's be safe out there Delco!